The fact that I knew where I wanted to be in 20 years does not translate well to knowing where you want to be next month. Portland seemed like a good first step to where I wanted my career to progress, so after applying and mildly stalking the HR director on Linkedin I received an internship.
Nothing can really prepare you for the transition from university to employment, mostly because everyone’s experience is so varied. Through my first few days in Portland I was immediately struck by how different Portland was from other companies I’d worked in and from my preconceived perceptions of how a top London PR agency operates. I was surprised by its openness. Everyone is willing to help and assist you, and there is a lot of exposure to the partners and other senior employees. However, the most remarkable aspect of Portland is how lively and amusing it is to work here. As tremblingly cringe and disingenuous that may sound, it is true. I think my enjoyment is a product of three aspects, how much I’m being challenged, my level of passion for the issue and then finally the culture and attitudes of people who work here. These have all been met to a level that was beyond my expectations.
Another aspect to Portland is the amount of training and learning I’ve received on the job. I’ve only been here 5 months and I’ve learnt incredible amounts in a short period of time. Things I would have never have thought of, -to questioning my own stances on issues I’ve held for many years. This learning is sparked by the exposure to experience, the raw appetite for knowledge on political issues in the office and the proactive training seminars Portland are always hosting for the staff. Portland seminars are hosted by all the different departments so people are aware of every aspect of the company. Also weekly academies where guest speakers come in and discuss current political issues.
When my three month internship was coming to a close I realised I wanted to stay and continue working here. I was fortunate enough to be hired on the Research and Insights team as an Account Executive. I’m thrilled where my career is going and excited about what challenges Portland will produce for me next. I’m very fortunate, I’ve landed in a place I know is right for me right now which after university feels like I’ve finally finished a marathon. However, in reality is its only just beginning.
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Measurement and evaluation